Tensions rise between Turkey & Syria

Turkey has in recent days sent dozens of military vehicles to the border area with Syria and readied pro Ankara Syria rebels amid repeated threats from top officials that the operation on the town of Afrin was imminent

Russian Federation and Turkey have threatened the US-led coalition's new Kurdish-dominated "Border Security Force".

Speaking in Ankara Thursday, the country's foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, warned the establishment such a force would cause "irreversible damage" to American-Turkish relations. Turkey reacted angrily to the announcement.

Turkey sees the YPG as an extension of the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is considered a terrorist group by the USA and has fought a bloody insurgency since 1984 that has killed at least 35,000 people.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters on a flight home from a conference in Vancouver, Canada, later Wednesday that the issue had beemn "misportrayed and misdescribed".

It has criticized the USA for extending support and arming the Kurdish forces as part of the campaign that drove the Islamic State militant group from large parts of Syria. "I think it's unfortunate that comments made by some left that impression".

"Through the decrees with the force of law, the government can now do whatever it pleases", Kilicdaroglu said.

"Did this satisfy us in full?"

The YPG denies any direct links - an assertion backed by a US-led coalition whose air strikes and special forces have helped the militia and allied Arab fighters drive Islamic State militants from tens of thousands of square kilometres of Syria. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the nascent border force is "not helping calm the situation".

In 2016, Turkey began a military campaign called Euphrates Shield Operation, which targeted ISIL and the YPG.

This success story could come undone if Turkey takes rash action against Afrin and Manbij since it could spark a larger confrontation between Turkey and the YPG, especially if Ankara uses ground forces, that could return the approximate quarter of Syria under Kurdish control into a warzone at a time when the Syrian conflict is actually showing some signs of dying down.

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The Iranian President said on Tuesday that the USA government's initiative to create a largely Kurdish border force in northeastern Syria is aimed at undermining the country's territorial integrity. He said continued USA involvement would be necessary to help stabilize northern Syria, allowing refugees to return and to ensure IS and al-Qaida do not resurface as threats in Syria.

Tillerson illustrated how the USA would continue trying to isolate Assad's government even as the US objective is "stabilization".

"Such a responsible behavior will lead to the desired result in finding a resolution for the Syrian crisis", the Democratic Union Party said in a statement.

And the move has enraged Russian Federation and Turkey.

Turkey says it is planning for military intervention in Syria's Kurdish-controlled Afrin and Manbij regions in response to a "threat" posed by USA -backed Kurdish militia fighters. Kurds report of Turkish artillery shelling border villages.

"The problem now is that the campaign against ISIS has entered a new phase, that the US military is posturing toward a long-term force and training a YPG militia is a direct challenge to Turkey", Meral added.

"As we did during the Euphrates Shield, we are again ready for cooperation with Turkey", he said, referring to a successful Turkish-led operation against Daesh, which ended in March 2017.

Any Turkish military operation into the Syrian borders will be considered as an attempt to attack and violate territorial integrity, Meqdad was quoted as saying.

But Cavusoglu said on January 18 that Ankara was "not completely satisfied" by Tillerson's explanation, adding that Turkey's "mistrust" of Washington continues.


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